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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry"

Bolton says impeachment failed because Dems played into Trump’s hands

Westlake Legal Group bolton-says-impeachment-failed-because-dems-played-into-trumps-hands Bolton says impeachment failed because Dems played into Trump's hands Tyler Olson fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc dc18eb2d-1ed2-5c77-8499-5b15ecf77bd2 article

Former Trump National Security Adviser John Bolton said in an interview with NPR released Monday morning that Democrats’ impeachment efforts failed in part because they tried to fit impeachment into their party’s primary calendar, a move he said played into President Trump’s hands because the president benefited from the “very narrow focus” of the impeachment investigation.

Bolton’s interview with NPR is part of a media blitz by the now-shunned former member of Trump’s inner circle ahead of the publication of his tell-all about his time as national security adviser titled “The Room Where it Happened: A White House Memoir.” Bolton participated in an interview with ABC News that aired Sunday night and spoke with USA Today for a story that also was released Sunday.

“And the consequence of the very narrow focus that the Democrats adopted without consultation outside their own narrow circle, as far as I can tell, and their rush to get it done so that the impeachment proceedings didn’t interfere with the Democratic presidential nomination had the effect of pushing House Republicans into a corner,” Bolton said in his interview with NPR.

BOLTON, IN INTERVIEW, SAYS DEMOCRATS ‘ALMOST AS BAD AND SOMEWHAT EQUIVALENT TO TRUMP’

“And so what ended up was a bitterly partisan debate that prefigured essentially what was then going to happen in the Senate,” he added. “So if the objective of the process really was to seek impeachment and conviction, the entire strategy going in was misguided.”

Bolton refused to testify in the House of Representatives’ impeachment proceedings, in which a multitude of current and former officials, primarily from the State Department, were paraded into depositions and hearings and asked questions about Trump’s controversial decision to withhold security funding from Ukraine in what Democrats alleged was an effort to extract political favors from the country.

The former national security adviser, who was widely reported to have strongly objected to the delay in the aid, refused to testify before the House, instead asking for a court order to confirm that former officials of his stature could do so over objections from the president. Democrats impeached the president anyway, aiming to get to a Senate trial quickly ahead of the party’s primary race as multiple Democratic senators were pursuing the presidency.

Several officials testified to the House that Bolton was beside himself regarding the president’s Ukraine dealings.

Westlake Legal Group Bolton062220 Bolton says impeachment failed because Dems played into Trump's hands Tyler Olson fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc dc18eb2d-1ed2-5c77-8499-5b15ecf77bd2 article

FILE – In this Sept. 30, 2019, file photo, former National security adviser John Bolton gestures while speakings at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. A federal judge has ruled, Saturday, June 20, 2020, that former national security adviser John Bolton can move forward in publishing his tell-all book. The Trump administration had tried to block the release because of concerns that classified information could be exposed.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

BOLTON SPOKESWOMAN DENIES REPORT HE’LL VOTE FOR BIDEN, SAYS HE WON’T VOTE FOR EITHER MAJOR WH CANDIDATE

Dr. Fiona Hill, one of several to testify to Bolton’s actions during this time, relayed that Bolton said Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani was a “hand grenade,” and said he would not take part in “whatever drug deal [Amb. Gordon] Sondland and [acting chief of staff Mick] Mulvaney are cooking up,” in relation to Ukraine.

Bolton later offered his testimony to the Senate if subpoenaed, but the chamber decided to hold the trial without taking any further witness testimony than was heard in the House. The president was not convicted on the two impeachment charges and remains in office.

Bolton, in his book, which was obtained by Fox News ahead of publication, confirmed the internal fracas over the president’s withholding of the Ukraine aid, allegedly in exchange for restarting an investigation into the family of now-presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

“I told [Hill] to take this whole matter to the White House Counsel’s office; she quoted me accurately as saying, ‘I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up,'” Bolton wrote. “I thought the whole affair was bad policy, questionable legally, and unacceptable as presidential behavior.”

Bolton, speaking with NPR, also said that Democrats “set themselves up for failure, right at the beginning” and that if the impeachment process was “simply to do some virtue signaling, well, that probably was accomplished.”

Westlake Legal Group Schiff012320 Bolton says impeachment failed because Dems played into Trump's hands Tyler Olson fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc dc18eb2d-1ed2-5c77-8499-5b15ecf77bd2 article

In this image from video, House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., holds redacted documents as he speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)

SCHIFF SUGGESTS MORE IMPEACHMENT ON THE TABLE — AS JUDGE WARNS BOLTON IS IN JEOPARDY

He also equated Democrats’ effort to speed along the impeachment process to best fit their political goals to the allegations made against Trump.

“And I understand what their problem was with their presidential nomination. But let’s be clear: Impeachment is probably the gravest constitutional responsibility the House has,” Bolton said. “And I’m sorry that that grave responsibility was affected by their own political calculus. But in effect, that’s what the Ukraine allegations about Trump were all about, torquing legitimate government power around his own political interest.”

Bolton has received widespread criticism for not telling his story earlier from Democrats who say it could have made a difference in impeachment. Many on the left have argued for a boycott of the book, saying Bolton is trying to profit at the expense of the country.

“Tonight, Bolton was pressed on why he didn’t come forward and testify, instead saving it for a book,” Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., one of the House impeachment managers, said Sunday. “Bolton insisted it wasn’t about the cash. Well, to quote Dale Bumpers during a different impeachment: ‘When you hear somebody say, ‘This is not about money,’ it’s about money.'”

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But Bolton emphasized in his NPR interview that Democrats didn’t seem interested in getting bipartisan buy-in from the beginning.

“They didn’t take any of the steps that one would think would make sense, to reach out to Republicans who might be sympathetic to considering the president’s behavior,” Bolton said. “There was nothing akin to an Ervin committee process, as there was during the Watergate days.”

Bolton’s book comes out Tuesday.

Fox News’ Brooke Singman and John Roberts contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group image Bolton says impeachment failed because Dems played into Trump's hands Tyler Olson fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc dc18eb2d-1ed2-5c77-8499-5b15ecf77bd2 article  Westlake Legal Group image Bolton says impeachment failed because Dems played into Trump's hands Tyler Olson fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc dc18eb2d-1ed2-5c77-8499-5b15ecf77bd2 article

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Bolton, in interview, says Democrats ‘almost as bad and somewhat equivalent to Trump’

Westlake Legal Group bolton-in-interview-says-democrats-almost-as-bad-and-somewhat-equivalent-to-trump Bolton, in interview, says Democrats 'almost as bad and somewhat equivalent to Trump' Gregg Re fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article 23f65043-92cb-56b2-a6fd-a52801ffa1c1
Westlake Legal Group image Bolton, in interview, says Democrats 'almost as bad and somewhat equivalent to Trump' Gregg Re fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article 23f65043-92cb-56b2-a6fd-a52801ffa1c1

Former national security adviser John Bolton warned in an interview airing Sunday night that President Trump’s White House poses a “danger for the republic” — but cautioned that congressional Democrats were “almost as bad” in their efforts to unseat him from office, which Bolton called a “partisan catfight.”

Speaking to ABC News’ Martha Raddatz, Bolton further broadened his attacks beyond just the president, accusing the Defense Department of “obstruction” concerning the administration’s response to suspected chemical weapons use in Syria.

The interview aired just days after a federal judge determined that Bolton’s decision to publish his upcoming tell-all memoir on the Trump administration had “exposed his country to harm and himself to civil (and potentially criminal) liability,” and that Bolton had “likely jeopardized national security by disclosing classified information in violation of his nondisclosure agreement obligations.”

“There really isn’t any guiding principle that I was able to discern other than what’s good for Donald Trump’s reelection,” Bolton told Raddatz.

SCHIFF SUGGESTS MORE IMPEACHMENT ON THE TABLE — AS JUDGE WARNS BOLTON IS IN JEOPARDY

He added: “The very first thing that I encountered on my opening day was, of course, the chemical-weapons attack by the Syrian government against innocent civilians in Syria. We responded by the end of the week. But, I have to say, it was a very disappointing process we went through. I felt there was obstruction from the Defense Department.”

Specifically, Bolton said, “what we thought we should get from the Defense Department was a series of heavy, medium and light options for the president to choose from. We got, instead, a series of options that were apples and oranges.”

No deterrent against chemical weapons use was established, Bolton complained. Trump, Bolton charged, didn’t understand the “implications of what he was doing.”

The president contributed to this lack of information, according to Bolton, by failing to speak up during intelligence briefings.

“It’d be interesting if somebody could do a statistical analysis at the end of the administration, total time in intelligence briefings, what percentage of that time did the president speak, and what time did the intelligence briefers speak. I would love to see that statistic, because it’s gonna be pretty close to 50/50, which is unusual, to say the least,” Bolton said.

Hours earlier, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., told NBC News’ “Meet the Press” that although he hasn’t read Bolton’s book, “The Room Where It Happened,” his committee would be looking in coming days at having Bolton testify. Schiff suggested Trump could be impeached once again.

Speaking to Raddatz, Bolton again hammered Schiff and Democrats for failing to broaden their investigation into Trump during the impeachment.

“I was fully prepared — if I got a subpoena like everybody else who testified got a subpoena,” Bolton said. “I think the way the House advocates of impeachment proceeded was badly wrong. I think it was impeachment malpractice. I think they were determined because of their own political objectives to conduct an impeachment proceeding that was very narrowly focused on Ukraine, and that went very, very quickly.”

Bolton said Democrats were hasty because “they didn’t wanna mess up the Democratic presidential nomination.”

“Now, I find that conduct almost as bad and somewhat equivalent to Trump,” Bolton charged, “that they’re torquing one of the gravest constitutional responsibilities the House of Representatives has, the power of impeachment, around their presidential nomination schedule. And, they failed utterly to accomplish what they wanted. In fact, they made things worse, because their strategy fitted with the Trump political strategy. Keep it narrow, and move it fast. So, what did they do? The House advocates said, ‘We have proven Trump is impeached forever, and that he’d learn a lesson from it.'”

Democrats’ unsubstantiated charges that the Trump campaign had conspired with Russia, Bolton said, were little more than crass politics.

“Fundamentally, the pursuit of the Russia collusion issue was, I think, for many Democrats, an effort to delegitimize the Trump presidency,” Bolton charged.

FOX NEWS OBTAINS BOLTON’S BOOK — HERE’S THE KEY FINDINGS

Schiff and others, he added, were seeking to use him as a scapegoat.

“I think the House Democrats built a cliff, they threw themselves off of it,” Bolton remarked. “Halfway down, they looked up and saw me, and said, “Hey, why don’t you come along?”

Republicans have accused Bolton of lying. Trump rival Joe Biden, meanwhile, tweeted that “if John Bolton’s accounts are true … it’s not only morally repugnant, it’s a violation of Donald Trump’s sacred duty to the American people to protect America’s interests and defend our values.”

However, Biden hasn’t always had a positive view of Bolton’s credibility; videos resurfaced on social media last week showing Biden seemingly slamming Bolton as a liar.

“Well, I don’t want my lawyer and I don’t want any lawyer saying something to help my case by lying, deliberately lying about my opponent,” Biden says in one clip.

Then-Sen. Barack Obama, in 2005, echoed those arguments, calling Bolton “damaged goods,” and saying his appointment as ambassador meant “we will have less credibility and ironically be less equipped to reform the United Nations in the way that it needs to be reformed.”

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Bolton himself had admitted in the past that he would be more than willing to lie if he felt it was in the nation’s best interest.

“If I had to say something I knew was false to protect American national security, I would do it,” Bolton said in an interview with Fox Business in 2010.

Westlake Legal Group image Bolton, in interview, says Democrats 'almost as bad and somewhat equivalent to Trump' Gregg Re fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article 23f65043-92cb-56b2-a6fd-a52801ffa1c1  Westlake Legal Group image Bolton, in interview, says Democrats 'almost as bad and somewhat equivalent to Trump' Gregg Re fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article 23f65043-92cb-56b2-a6fd-a52801ffa1c1

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Trump calls Bolton’s memoir ‘highly inappropriate’ as WH readies legal action to stop publication

Westlake Legal Group trump-calls-boltons-memoir-highly-inappropriate-as-wh-readies-legal-action-to-stop-publication Trump calls Bolton's memoir 'highly inappropriate' as WH readies legal action to stop publication fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc b18f67dc-e774-52df-b559-65e582bcad60 article Andrew O'Reilly
Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6127240544001_6127240237001-vs Trump calls Bolton's memoir 'highly inappropriate' as WH readies legal action to stop publication fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc b18f67dc-e774-52df-b559-65e582bcad60 article Andrew O'Reilly

President Trump called it “highly inappropriate” for his former national security adviser John Bolton to write a memoir about his time in the White House – saying it contained classified information and hinting that Bolton might have lied in the book.

The president’s comments, at a roundtable event at the White House on Monday, followed reports that the Trump administration was expected to take legal action to stop the publication of Bolton’s book.

“Maybe he’s not telling the truth, he’s been known not to tell the truth, a lot,” Trump said Monday.

Sources told Fox News earlier Monday that the White House is expected to make a court filing soon out of the Justice Department to try preventing the publication of Bolton’s memoir slated to be released on June 23, “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir.”

BOLTON MAKES HIS MOVE: MEMOIR TO CLAIM TRUMP MISCONDUCT WENT BEYOND UKRAINE, SLAM ‘REELECTION CALCULATIONS’

The White House has long contended that a manuscript of Bolton’s memoir contained classified information, but that the way the material was woven into the narrative would make a traditional “scrub” impossible.

Sources told Fox News the classified information was “part and parcel” of the entire storyline.

The memoir is expected to claim that Trump’s “transgressions” went well beyond the Ukraine saga that led to his impeachment and alleged that “reelection calculations” drove the president’s major decisions, according to a press release for the book.

“This is the book Donald Trump doesn’t want you to read,” the release stated.

“Drawn from his personal participation in key events, and filled with perspective and humor, Bolton covers an array of topics—chaos in the White House, sure, but also assessments of major players, the president’s inconsistent, scattershot decision-making process, and his dealings with allies and enemies alike, from China, Russia, Ukraine, North Korea, Iran, the UK, France and Germany,” the book’s publisher said in a statement.

Bolton’s lawyer said last week the publication of the memoir will go ahead as planned on June 23 and he accused the White House of unfairly trying to keep it on ice.

The lawyer, Charles Cooper, wrote in The Wall Street Journal that the White House lawyers have slow-walked the process because “President Trump simply doesn’t want John Bolton to publish his book.”

“This is a transparent attempt to use national security as a pretext to censor Mr. Bolton, in violation of his constitutional right to speak on matters of the utmost public import,” Cooper continued. “This attempt will not succeed, and Mr. Bolton’s book will be published June 23.”

Leaked passages from the manuscript roiled Washington in the midst of Trump’s impeachment trial. Included was the revelation that Bolton said Trump told him he was conditioning the release of military aid to Ukraine on whether Ukraine’s government would help investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. The younger Biden had been paid by a gas company in Ukraine to serve as a board member.

BOLTON THOUGHT TRUMP-ZELENSKY CALL WOULD BE A ‘DISASTER’

Bolton initially submitted the transcript as required to Ellen Knight, the National Security Council’s senior director, for prepublication review of materials written by NSC personnel, on Dec. 30, according to Cooper.

“What followed was perhaps the most extensive and intensive prepublication review in NSC history,” Cooper wrote. “Mr. Bolton and Ms. Knight spent almost four months going through the nearly 500-page manuscript four times, often line by line.”

Cooper said that at the end of the ordeal, Knight told Bolton on April 27, “that’s the last edit I really have to provide for you.”

“Yet when Mr. Bolton asked when he would receive the letter confirming the book was cleared, Ms. Knight cryptically replied that her ‘interaction’ with unnamed others in the White House about the book had ‘been very delicate’ and that there were ‘some internal process considerations to work through,’” Cooper wrote.

Bolton was ousted from his role as national security adviser last September, when the president tweeted that he had fired Bolton, claiming he “disagreed strongly” with his suggestions on a range of issues.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

But, Bolton swiftly challenged Trump’s version of events, telling Fox News he offered to resign after the White House sidelined him from high-level discussions about military involvement in Afghanistan.

Fox News’ John Roberts, Brooke Singman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6127240544001_6127240237001-vs Trump calls Bolton's memoir 'highly inappropriate' as WH readies legal action to stop publication fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc b18f67dc-e774-52df-b559-65e582bcad60 article Andrew O'Reilly  Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6127240544001_6127240237001-vs Trump calls Bolton's memoir 'highly inappropriate' as WH readies legal action to stop publication fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc b18f67dc-e774-52df-b559-65e582bcad60 article Andrew O'Reilly

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Massive bribe to stop Ukraine probe of Burisma founder intercepted

Westlake Legal Group massive-bribe-to-stop-ukraine-probe-of-burisma-founder-intercepted Massive bribe to stop Ukraine probe of Burisma founder intercepted fox-news/world/united-nations/corruption fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/world fnc Bradford Betz article 09080327-21e1-5a40-9302-d5447e47d0b0

Ukrainian officials on Saturday announced they intercepted a $6 million bribe attempt to stop a criminal investigation into the president of Burisma, the natural-gas company at the center of President Trump’s impeachment investigation.

At a news conference, the officials displayed large bags of seized U.S. currency.

Ukraine’s anti-corruption prosecutor Nazar Kholodnitsky said former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter, who once held a board seat, was not complicit in the bribe attempt.

Westlake Legal Group 4247f27b-AP20165418061183 Massive bribe to stop Ukraine probe of Burisma founder intercepted fox-news/world/united-nations/corruption fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/world fnc Bradford Betz article 09080327-21e1-5a40-9302-d5447e47d0b0

Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Prosecutor Nazar Kholodnytsky, left, and National Anti-Corruption Bureau chief Artem Sytnik displaying the massive piles of cash at an anti-corruption prosecutor’s office in Kiev on Saturday. (AP)

Kholodnitsky and the head of the national anti-corruption bureau, Artem Sytnik, said the bribe was intended to encourage their offices to halt a probe of Mykola Zlochevsky, the head of Burisma and a former minister of ecology. Zlochevsky was accused of using his ministerial position for personal enrichment.

Three people, including a high-ranking tax service official, have been detained in connection with the attempted bribe, officials said Saturday.

In a statement, Burisma claimed the company had nothing to do with any bribe attempt.

“Neither Burisma Group President Mykola Zlochevsky nor other employees of the company have any relationship to the voiced events,” the company said. “Mykola Zlochevsky didn’t ask for anyone to commit wrong actions and never contributed to such actions.”

BOLTON MAKES HIS MOVE: MEMOIR TO CLAIM TRUMP MISCONDUCT WENT BEYOND UKRAINE, SLAM ‘REELECTION CALCULATIONS’

Burisma, one of Ukraine’s largest private gas producers, has been at the center of politically tinged allegations in the United States, with Joe Biden challenging Trump in this year’s election.

Hunter Biden joined the Burisma board in 2014, when his father was still vice president and the main figure in U.S. relations with Ukraine. He left the position in 2018.

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Last year, Trump pressured new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate the Bidens in a phone call that sparked demands for his impeachment. This Senate acquitted him this past February.

Former Ukrainian prosecutor-general Viktor Shokin has alleged he was pushed out by Joe Biden’s delaying of a $1 billion loan to the country, to prevent him from investigating Hunter Biden’s role at Burisma. But, Joe Biden said he pushed for Shokin’s dismissal to encourage Ukraine’s anti-corruption efforts.

Westlake Legal Group AP20165418061183 Massive bribe to stop Ukraine probe of Burisma founder intercepted fox-news/world/united-nations/corruption fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/world fnc Bradford Betz article 09080327-21e1-5a40-9302-d5447e47d0b0  Westlake Legal Group AP20165418061183 Massive bribe to stop Ukraine probe of Burisma founder intercepted fox-news/world/united-nations/corruption fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/world fnc Bradford Betz article 09080327-21e1-5a40-9302-d5447e47d0b0

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What will 2020 elections be about? Impeachment, pandemic, George Floyd death by June leaves door wide open

Westlake Legal Group what-will-2020-elections-be-about-impeachment-pandemic-george-floyd-death-by-june-leaves-door-wide-open What will 2020 elections be about? Impeachment, pandemic, George Floyd death by June leaves door wide open fox-news/us/congress fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/legislation fox-news/politics/elections/republicans fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/george-floyd fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc f362ed20-367d-5a78-a461-e74122f84708 Chad Pergram article

It would be the seminal vote of the year in Congress.. For only the third time in history, senators would rise from their desks and declare “guilty” or not “guilty in the impeachment trial of President Trump……

Scratch that.

The worst pandemic in 102 years crippled the nation. It paralyzed the economy, driving millions indoors. Day-to-day American life ceased. Work and school migrated to interminable Zoom calls…….

Scratch that.

They spilled into the streets by the tens of thousands, from Lafayette Square across from the White House to Boise, Idaho. The demonstrators eschewed social distancing guidelines as they argued for justice and police reform following the death of George Floyd…….

It’s only mid-June. And we don’t really know what may define the November elections.

No one could have imagined something toppling the echoes of the impeachment trial from its pedestal back in February. Then came the double whammy of a pandemic and an unprecedented economic shock. That duo seemed to encapsulate the seminal political guidepost ahead of November. But now we’re in the aftermath of protesters storming the streets. That’s why Congress quickly pivoted to trying to find a legislative solution to curb police abuse.

Congressional Democrats quickly unveiled a sweeping bill which is likely to hit the House floor before the end of June. But on the same day Democrats rolled out their legislation, they managed to hijack their own message.

PELOSI COULD HIDE STATUES OF CONFEDERATE LEADERS AT THE CAPITOL

The bill weakens the criminal and civil immunity shield for police. It bars chokeholds. The legislation also forms a database to track troubled officers who bounce from department to department. But you might not know any of that because Democrats found themselves trying to explain a push from the left to defund police.

Westlake Legal Group 05_AP20160583779188 What will 2020 elections be about? Impeachment, pandemic, George Floyd death by June leaves door wide open fox-news/us/congress fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/legislation fox-news/politics/elections/republicans fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/george-floyd fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc f362ed20-367d-5a78-a461-e74122f84708 Chad Pergram article

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., center, and other members of Congress, kneel and observe a moment of silence at the Capitol’s Emancipation Hall, Monday, June 8, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington, reading the names of George Floyd and others killed during police interactions. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The casual political observer may presume that defunding police is a component of the legislation. It’s not.

Democrats superseded their own message of muscular police reform — which is hard to oppose — and presented Republicans an opportunity just as fibrous.

“They know it is pure insanity to defund the police. And the fact that my Democrat colleagues won’t speak out against this crazy policy is just that frightening,” said Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, at the first House hearing on police reform last Wednesday.

House Democratic leaders cautioned their rank-and-file members against getting siphoned into a conversation about defunding the police. Democrats tried to pin the onus on Republicans.

“For two weeks, [Senate Majority] Leader [Mitch] McConnell, R-Ky., has refused to respond to my request for the Senate to consider a police reform bill before July 4,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

By the same token, Republicans knew they just couldn’t idly sit by as protesters roamed the streets. House Republicans were nearly silent in their criticism of the Democrats’ bill. They fear further alienating swing or minority voters. President Trump’s polling numbers are dropping after the pandemic and economic plunge. Congressional Republicans fret they could go down with Trump.

REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK: GEORGE FLOYD UNREST, CORONAVIRUS SHOW LIMITS TO CONGRESS’ POWER

McConnell empaneled the lone black Senate Republican, Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., to craft a police reform bill. Scott said there was “synergy” between his plan, the Democratic bill and views held by Trump.

“We want our actions to speak louder than our words,” said White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows after huddling with Scott on Capitol Hill.

Scott’s bill will likely have to wend its way through the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

“What I want to do is give [President Trump] something bipartisan,” said Graham. “If it’s reasonable, he’ll sign off on it.”

No one completely understands yet how protests and the in-custody death of George Floyd will impact the electorate this fall. Perhaps that’s why Graham hopes to forge a bipartisan compromise. Graham’s running for reelection against Democratic nominee Jaime Harrison. The race is still a longshot for Harrison to unseat Graham. But the contest could become increasingly competitive in this environment. That’s why GOPers are striving to get their own police reform plan ready as soon as possible.

It’s also why Democrats are struggling with calls to defund the police.

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., took to the Senate floor last Wednesday in an attempt to get the Senate to approve, via unanimous consent, a measure seeking justice for George Floyd and opposing efforts to defund the police. Schumer objected. Cotton said he presumes Schumer blocked the measure “because he must want to defund the police.”

Talk of defunding the police fractures the Democrats’ tenuous coalition of urban liberals coupled with suburban moderates and swing voters.

“There’s no doubt that the language of defunding or dismantling the police is explosive,” said Dr. Larry Jacobs, director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the Hubert Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. Jacobs says if Democrats push this issue, “they’re going to have a hard time winning in November.”

Democrats dominated the suburbs, winning so-called suburban soccer moms in the 2018 midterm elections. Voters were disaffected with President Trump. That helped fuel the Democratic takeover of the House. Suburban voters could interpret police defunding as too extreme. Democrats fear those voters could abandon the party.

Congressional Democrats tried to distance themselves from the police defunding movement.

“Nowhere in this country are we going to find ourselves without police,” said Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz. “That’s just not rational nor a realistic thing. We will always have a police force as long as we’re not living in a Utopia.”

This crystallizes the internal Democratic party divide. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., tweeted that Democrats are trying to “repackage” the defunding conversation to make it “palatable for largely affluent swing voters.” Ocasio-Cortez accused Democrats of valuing suburban voters over urban ones.

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This could spell trouble for Democrats. Nowhere is that more prominent than a battleground state like Minnesota. President Trump put little effort into winning Minnesota in 2016. He lost to Hillary Clinton by fewer than 45,000 votes. Minnesota is now the flashpoint of American politics after the death of George Floyd. The Minneapolis City Council voted in favor of dismantling its police force. Could all of this volatility over defunding the police spell consequences for Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., running for a full-term this fall? What about Rep. Angie Craig, D-Minn., who flipped a district from red to blue in 2018? And Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn.? He represents the most pro-Trump House district held by any Democrat in the country.

“If Minneapolis were to actually pursue and adopt a ‘defund-the-police’ position, that could unnerve suburban voters. (It) would unnerve some of the greater Minnesota voters who have been behind Democrats in the past,” said Jacobs. “There’s no doubt there’s an opportunity for Republicans to seize on it. The question is, will it be an opportunity that lasts (until) November? I think it’s possible there will be legs on this story.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden opposes defunding the police. So, expect Republicans to stoke the “defund-the-police” embers. It could frighten voters in the middle and may even suppress liberals if the Democratic nominee isn’t in line.

Scratch that.

It’s only June. We may still not know what factors could sway the November election.

The repeated, cosmic, radio bursts from space kept baffling scientists. But in July, the extraterrestrials arrived from the planet Xantar. They pierced the Earth’s atmosphere in a fleet of sleek, cigar-shaped spaceships, transiting through a wormhole near the Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy……..

Westlake Legal Group image What will 2020 elections be about? Impeachment, pandemic, George Floyd death by June leaves door wide open fox-news/us/congress fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/legislation fox-news/politics/elections/republicans fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/george-floyd fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc f362ed20-367d-5a78-a461-e74122f84708 Chad Pergram article  Westlake Legal Group image What will 2020 elections be about? Impeachment, pandemic, George Floyd death by June leaves door wide open fox-news/us/congress fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/legislation fox-news/politics/elections/republicans fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/george-floyd fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc f362ed20-367d-5a78-a461-e74122f84708 Chad Pergram article

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Sen. Ron Johnson on new Russia probe subpoenas: What are Democrats afraid to find out?

Westlake Legal Group sen-ron-johnson-on-new-russia-probe-subpoenas-what-are-democrats-afraid-to-find-out Sen. Ron Johnson on new Russia probe subpoenas: What are Democrats afraid to find out? Julia Musto fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/us/crime fox-news/us/congress fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/shows/americas-newsroom fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/the-clintons fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/politics/senate/democrats fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/politics fox-news/person/robert-mueller fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/barack-obama fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc ded08ec6-b4ee-5819-bae6-112a9a9c5c95 article

As Democrats label Senate Republicans’ authorization of subpoenas in their probe into the origin of the Russia investigation as politically motivated, Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson wondered Friday what they were so afraid to uncover.

In an interview on “America’s Newsroom” with host Sandra Smith, Johnson noted that while America is admired for its peaceful transitions of power from one administration to the next, “unfortunately, that is not what [it looks like] happened in 2016 [to] 2017.”

GRAHAM SLAMS DEMOCRATS WHO CRITICIZED SENATE HEARINGS ON RUSSIA INVESTIGATION: ‘THIS IS HYPOCRISY RUN AMOK’

“We saw a real crush in that process. And, it began before the election where you had the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign pay for foreign fabricated opposition research called the Steele Dossier. That dossier was then used to start investigations and corruptly apply for a FISA application against Carter Page. We saw the unmaskings. We saw the defensive briefings or transition briefings used for investigative purposes,” he pointed out. “There was so much corruption of that process and that’s what we need to get to the bottom of. We have to let the American people know what happened so it never happens again.”

Westlake Legal Group AP20034593279805 Sen. Ron Johnson on new Russia probe subpoenas: What are Democrats afraid to find out? Julia Musto fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/us/crime fox-news/us/congress fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/shows/americas-newsroom fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/the-clintons fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/politics/senate/democrats fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/politics fox-news/person/robert-mueller fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/barack-obama fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc ded08ec6-b4ee-5819-bae6-112a9a9c5c95 article

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., arrives on Capitol Hill, Monday, Feb. 3, 2020 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Johnson said that the Democrats’ accusation was unfounded and ignored his colleagues’ work investigating corruption under the Obama administration dating back to the Hillary Clinton email scandal in March of 2015. According to Johnson, this probe would be a continuation of that effort and reveal the missing parts of the equation which led to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller.

“The reason we are doing this now is we’re finally getting the information. When you have a special counsel and criminal investigations then and impeachment, you just don’t have access for congressional oversight to the kind of information you need,” he explained further.

“If there is nothing that happened, that’s what an investigation will show and the American people need to know that,” he stated. “But, if there was wrongdoing that occurred, the American people need a full accounting – they need to understand what the truth is.”

According to Johnson, it “really does appear that because, according to those folks, the wrong person won, they began to sabotage this administration the day after the election. And so, we need to understand what happened, so it will never happen again.”

He warned that, in the future, it could happen to somebody the Democrats support if no one is held accountable right now.

“We are just trying to obtain the truth and it’s amazing to me how Democrats wanted every little detail about a phone call between President Trump and President Zelensky of Ukraine which resulted in the impeachment trial, and yet they want to close their eyes, close their ears to true corruption that we already know about,” Johnson told Smith. “This is shocking what we found out in terms of the bias from the FBI, the alteration of an email to get a FISA warrant.

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“We have already seen the corruption. We need to find out exactly what happened,” he urged. “The American people deserve the full and complete truth. I do not know what the Democrats are afraid of. Why are they afraid of the truth?”

Westlake Legal Group 74b6f341-image Sen. Ron Johnson on new Russia probe subpoenas: What are Democrats afraid to find out? Julia Musto fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/us/crime fox-news/us/congress fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/shows/americas-newsroom fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/the-clintons fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/politics/senate/democrats fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/politics fox-news/person/robert-mueller fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/barack-obama fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc ded08ec6-b4ee-5819-bae6-112a9a9c5c95 article  Westlake Legal Group 74b6f341-image Sen. Ron Johnson on new Russia probe subpoenas: What are Democrats afraid to find out? Julia Musto fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/us/crime fox-news/us/congress fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/shows/americas-newsroom fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/the-clintons fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/politics/senate/democrats fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/politics fox-news/person/robert-mueller fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/barack-obama fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc ded08ec6-b4ee-5819-bae6-112a9a9c5c95 article

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Bill Maher says he now regrets Trump’s impeachment: ‘It just emboldened him’

Westlake Legal Group bill-maher-says-he-now-regrets-trumps-impeachment-it-just-emboldened-him Bill Maher says he now regrets Trump's impeachment: 'It just emboldened him' Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/entertainment/politics-on-late-night fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc e183cf3e-a1f4-5338-be85-9ebfc78c85e9 article
Westlake Legal Group Bill-Maher-HBO1 Bill Maher says he now regrets Trump's impeachment: 'It just emboldened him' Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/entertainment/politics-on-late-night fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc e183cf3e-a1f4-5338-be85-9ebfc78c85e9 article

“Real Time” host Bill Maher looked back with apparent regret Friday night on the Democratic-led impeachment of President Trump, saying it “turned out to be a horrible thing.”

During a conversation with liberal filmmaker Michael Moore, Maher pointed to Trump’s recent firings of inspectors general, most recently the ousting of State Department watchdog Steve Linick, and complained the firings got very little media attention amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Moore then pivoted the conversation to the Russia investigation — claiming Trump “bullied” former Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and insisting Mueller “got scared” and refused to interrogate the president.

BILL MAHER SCOLDS NY TIMES OVER CORONAVIRUS DEATHS COVERAGE: ‘WE NEED MORE CONTEXT, NOT FEAR’

Maher, however, brought the conversation back to the Ukraine scandal, which led to Trump’s impeachment because the president was accused of withholding foreign aid in hopes of persuading Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

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“Just the impeachment, you know, I mean, if I could do it over again I wouldn’t because it just emboldened him,” Maher continued, “Now he can conduct this war on accountability and nobody even — it barely made the papers. I bet you people are watching this and going, ‘Wow, I’ve never heard that because the news is all COVID.”

Moore agreed, saying that the removals of the government watchdogs make the president “very dangerous.”

Westlake Legal Group Bill-Maher-HBO1 Bill Maher says he now regrets Trump's impeachment: 'It just emboldened him' Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/entertainment/politics-on-late-night fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc e183cf3e-a1f4-5338-be85-9ebfc78c85e9 article  Westlake Legal Group Bill-Maher-HBO1 Bill Maher says he now regrets Trump's impeachment: 'It just emboldened him' Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/entertainment/politics-on-late-night fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc e183cf3e-a1f4-5338-be85-9ebfc78c85e9 article

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Trey Gowdy blasts House Dems’ push for ‘sacrosanct’ Mueller grand jury material: ‘Indict or shut up’

Westlake Legal Group trey-gowdy-blasts-house-dems-push-for-sacrosanct-mueller-grand-jury-material-indict-or-shut-up Trey Gowdy blasts House Dems' push for 'sacrosanct' Mueller grand jury material: 'Indict or shut up' Joshua Nelson fox-news/shows/the-daily-briefing-dana-perino fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/robert-mueller fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 23c26e36-53c8-55af-9694-0f8d8e8f4553
Westlake Legal Group 13458b5a-gowdy Trey Gowdy blasts House Dems' push for 'sacrosanct' Mueller grand jury material: 'Indict or shut up' Joshua Nelson fox-news/shows/the-daily-briefing-dana-perino fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/robert-mueller fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 23c26e36-53c8-55af-9694-0f8d8e8f4553

Former House Oversight Committee Chairman and Fox News contributor Trey Gowdy blasted House Democrats Tuesday for suggesting that another impeachment inquiry against President Trump is underway, saying that there will have been an eight-year-long impeachment inquiry by the time Trump’s second term is over

“I really don’t know what my fellow citizens thought when you made Jerry Nadler and Adam Schiff the chairman of two really important committees,” Gowdy told “The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino“. “I mean, what the hell did you think they were going to do? They are going to investigate the president.”

WISCONSIN SUPREME COURT STRIKES DOWN GOVERNOR’S ‘SAFER AT HOME’ ORDER 

House Democrats told the Supreme Court on Monday that they are again in the midst of an “ongoing presidential impeachment investigation” as part of their “weighty constitutional responsibility.” As a result, the Democrats argued, redacted grand jury material from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s now-completed Russia probe must be turned over as a result.

Top Democrats have repeatedly suggested that they might initiate new impeachment proceedings since Trump was acquitted by the Senate on two articles of impeachment in February. In their brief with the Supreme Court, which seeks testimony, exhibits and transcripts, the Democrats promised that leaks won’t be a problem, owing to their “special protocols” that will ensure “secrecy.”

“The [House Judiciary] Committee’s investigation did not cease with the conclusion of the impeachment trial,” the Democrats told the nine justices on Monday. “If this material reveals new evidence supporting the conclusion that President Trump committed impeachable offenses that are not covered by the articles adopted by the House, the committee will proceed accordingly — including, if necessary, by considering whether to recommend new articles of impeachment.”

Specifically, the Democrats said they were looking into “the possible exercise of improper political influence over recent decisions made in the Roger Stone and Michael Flynn prosecutions, both of which were initiated by the special counsel.”

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Gowdy said Tuesday that “grand jury material is sacrosanct” for a reason and should not be used to conduct “opposition” research.

“If you’ve got enough, indict and if you don’t get enough, don’t do ‘oppo’ research through the grand jury and I think that is why that does not need to become public. [When it comes to] grand jury testimony, either indict or shut up. That is my position on grand jury testimony.”

Westlake Legal Group 13458b5a-gowdy Trey Gowdy blasts House Dems' push for 'sacrosanct' Mueller grand jury material: 'Indict or shut up' Joshua Nelson fox-news/shows/the-daily-briefing-dana-perino fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/robert-mueller fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 23c26e36-53c8-55af-9694-0f8d8e8f4553  Westlake Legal Group 13458b5a-gowdy Trey Gowdy blasts House Dems' push for 'sacrosanct' Mueller grand jury material: 'Indict or shut up' Joshua Nelson fox-news/shows/the-daily-briefing-dana-perino fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/robert-mueller fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 23c26e36-53c8-55af-9694-0f8d8e8f4553

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Lindsey Graham on why he’s not in favor of calling Obama to testify

Westlake Legal Group lindsey-graham-on-why-hes-not-in-favor-of-calling-obama-to-testify Lindsey Graham on why he's not in favor of calling Obama to testify Julia Musto fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/us/crime fox-news/topic/fox-news-radio fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/politics/executive/national-security fox-news/politics/executive/law fox-news/politics fox-news/person/william-barr fox-news/person/robert-mueller fox-news/person/lindsey-graham fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/barack-obama fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 72a62c94-bb49-5bc2-b780-75ce6cbe5671
Westlake Legal Group lindsey-graham-barack-obama-AP-REUTERS Lindsey Graham on why he's not in favor of calling Obama to testify Julia Musto fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/us/crime fox-news/topic/fox-news-radio fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/politics/executive/national-security fox-news/politics/executive/law fox-news/politics fox-news/person/william-barr fox-news/person/robert-mueller fox-news/person/lindsey-graham fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/barack-obama fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 72a62c94-bb49-5bc2-b780-75ce6cbe5671

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., stated Friday that he doesn’t support calling former President Barack Obama to testify in his review of the Russia probe because of Obama’s executive privilege.

In an interview on the “Brian Kilmeade Show” with host Brian Kilmeade, Graham said that he does not want to “wreak havoc on the institution” like House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., did during the impeachment trial against the president earlier this year.

TRUMP CALLS FOR OBAMA TESTIMONY AMID UNMASKING; GRAHAM COOL TO IDEA

“So, if I find something that makes me suspicious of President Obama, if he may have been part of committing a crime against General Flynn or anyone else, I will turn that over to Mr. [John] Durham,” he promised, referring to the U.S. attorney who is investigating the origins of the Trump-Russia probe.

On Thursday, Graham declared that his panel would hold hearings in early June as part of its investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation — code-named “Crossfire Hurricane” — and would focus on unmasking, abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), and the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel.

The announcement was made just hours following President Trump’s tweet demanding that Graham call Obama to testify before his committee.

In response, Graham raised serious concerns about the implications of calling the former president to testify saying he is “greatly concerned about the precedent that would be set by calling a former president for oversight.”

He added that while “both presidents are welcome to come before the committee and share their concerns about each other,” he has “great doubts about whether it would be wise for the country.”

That said, Graham has many questions for Obama-era officials and told Kilmeade where he planned to start.

“I’m going to call the Mueller people back in and ask them, what evidence did you have in 2017 when the investigation was started that Trump people were colluding with the Russians? There has to be a legal basis to empower the special counsel. I want to ask [Rod[ Rosenstein: ‘What was the legal basis? What evidence did you have that Carter Page was working with the Russians?'” he remarked.

“I want to know, what were the reasons for these unmasking requests?” Graham asked. “And, here’s what would be wrong. It would be wrong to take a national security tool and turn it into a political tool. Were they trying to set General Flynn up? They didn’t like him. They wanted him to be fired. They recommended — Obama — not [to] hire him. Were they out to get him? Were they using the intelligence apparatus as a way to undermine General Flynn’s credibility and viability?

“Those are the [types] of questions that we will be asking in the Judiciary Committee,” he told Kilmeade.

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Lastly, in Graham’s quest to “investigate the investigators” he wants to figure out why Attorney Gen. William Barr’s Justice Department motioned to dismiss Flynn’s case mere days ago. Plus, he wants to talk with former Obama-era Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.

“I want to call Sally Yates to talk about the conversation that she had with President Obama on January the fifth. Why was she surprised that Obama knew more about the Flynn case than she did? And, just see where all that takes us,” Graham concluded.

Westlake Legal Group lindsey-graham-barack-obama-AP-REUTERS Lindsey Graham on why he's not in favor of calling Obama to testify Julia Musto fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/us/crime fox-news/topic/fox-news-radio fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/politics/executive/national-security fox-news/politics/executive/law fox-news/politics fox-news/person/william-barr fox-news/person/robert-mueller fox-news/person/lindsey-graham fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/barack-obama fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 72a62c94-bb49-5bc2-b780-75ce6cbe5671  Westlake Legal Group lindsey-graham-barack-obama-AP-REUTERS Lindsey Graham on why he's not in favor of calling Obama to testify Julia Musto fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/us/crime fox-news/topic/fox-news-radio fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/politics/executive/national-security fox-news/politics/executive/law fox-news/politics fox-news/person/william-barr fox-news/person/robert-mueller fox-news/person/lindsey-graham fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/barack-obama fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 72a62c94-bb49-5bc2-b780-75ce6cbe5671

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Jordan seeks State Department files on Burisma, after release of new emails

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6114391884001_6114392462001-vs Jordan seeks State Department files on Burisma, after release of new emails fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/person/jim-jordan fox news fnc/politics fnc e688e8ab-4e1b-5ef9-801e-566e09859e61 Brooke Singman article

EXCLUSIVE: The top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday requested that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo release all documents related to the Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings, where Hunter Biden sat on the board, after emails indicated that the former ambassador to the country may have known more about the firm than she acknowledged during Trump impeachment proceedings.

Jordan, R-Ohio, in a letter to Pompeo obtained by Fox News, said that new documents released in a Freedom of Information Act this week “appear to shed new light on the actions of State Department employees during the Obama-Biden Administration in relation to the corrupt Ukrainian energy company, Burisma Holdings, and its founder, Mykola Zlochevsky.”

STATE DEPARTMENT EMAILS INDICATE YOVANOVITCH MET WITH BURISMA REP, DESPITE TESTIMONY

Burisma Holdings was at the center of impeachment proceedings against President Trump, after he pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a phone call to look into the Biden family’s dealings in Ukraine. Former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, held a lucrative position on the board of Burisma Holdings.

In his letter, Jordan called Burisma “notoriously corrupt,” referencing its founder’s move to allow the firm to “receive mineral licenses without public auction, and noted that former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden—along with former Secretary of State John Kerry’s step-son, Christopher Heinz, and Devon Archer” sat on the board.

“Hunter Biden joined Burisma’s board at the same time his father, Vice President Joe Biden, was responsible for the United States’s diplomatic efforts with Ukraine,” Jordan wrote.

But Jordan referenced State Department emails which were obtained by the conservative group Citizens United this week through a FOIA request, and indicated that former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, was involved in discussions about Burisma Holdings and even met with a company representative, despite testifying to Congress during the impeachment inquiry that she knew little about the firm.

“When asked about her awareness of the criminal investigation into Burisma, Ambassador Yovanovitch testified that she did not know very much about the subject and that ‘Burisma wasn’t a big issue’ when she arrived in Kyiv,” Jordan wrote, referencing the new memos and communications.

The organization obtained more than 160 pages of emails and memos sent during the fall of 2016, including communications between Yovanovitch and U.S. Embassy officials about Burisma Holdings and documents indicating that she met with a representative of the firm at the embassy in December 2016.

“Burisma wasn’t a big issue in the fall … of 2016, when I arrived,” Yovanovitch said during testimony in the fall of 2019, noting that the investigation and details surrounding its closure “happened before I arrived.”

WHAT IS BURISMA HOLDINGS?

“It was not a focus of what I was doing in that six-month period,” she said.

But in September 2016, Yovanovitch received a letter from Burisma’s American lawyers, John Buretta of Cravath, Swaine and Moore law firm based in New York, alerting her that prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko’s office was dropping a corruption investigation related to Burisma without filing charges. Buretta also called allegations against the firm’s founder “baseless.”

IMPEACHMENT WITNESS URGES BURISMA PROBE, TESTIFIES TO CONCERN OF HUNTER BIDEN ‘CONFLICT’

“We respectfully request that Your Excellency take into consideration these objective facts when considering the narrative promoted by some, and no doubt to be repeated again, in disregard of the facts and the law and the decisions by courts,” Buretta wrote the ambassador.

Yovanovitch appeared to forward the email to deputy assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eastern Europe George Kent, who then arranged a briefing for her to discuss the issues. Kent, before the briefing, wrote to colleagues the topics he hoped to discuss, which included “[Burisma founder Mykola] Zlochevsky/Burisma – asset recovery and past crimes of the Yanu regime as they intersect U.S. corporate/individual interest.”

In another email, Kent wrote to Yovanovitch that the briefing was “further to the Blue Star effort to rehabilitate the reputation of their non-client in the US, former ministry of ecologies Zlochevsky, who clearly has retained the services of a blue-chip law firm and his energy company Burisma, which in turn has Hunter Biden on its board.

Yovanovitch was herself a key figure in impeachment proceedings, recalling how she was ousted from her post and allegedly targeted by Trump allies — some of whom have argued that the concerns about Burisma and the Biden connection were legitimate for the president to press Ukraine on. Trump’s move to withhold U.S. aid during that period, though, is what catapulted the controversy into impeachment territory — with the president ultimately impeached by the House and then acquitted by the Senate.

Burisma’s founder, former minister of ecologies Mykola Zlochevsky, had been under investigation in Ukraine. The Obama administration pushed for the prosecutor investigating Zlochevsky, Viktor Shokin, to be removed from his post. Shokin was fired in April 2016 and the case was closed by the prosecutor who replaced him, Lutsenko. Joe Biden once boasted on camera that when he was vice president he successfully pressured Ukraine to fire Shokin.

Biden allies, though, maintain that his intervention had nothing to do with his son, but was rather tied to the administration’s concerns of corruption in Ukraine. At the time, as vice president to former President Obama, Biden was running U.S.-Ukraine policy and anti-corruption campaigns.

Meanwhile, another document appeared to be a briefing memo to prepare Yovanovitch for a meeting on Dec. 8, 2016, inside the U.S. Embassy with Burisma representative Karen Tramontano.

“An Atlantic Council member and Washington veteran, Tramontano informally represents Mykola Zlochevsky, the Burisma CEO, who has long been the target of law enforcement proceedings in Ukraine,” the memo stated, adding that Zlochevsky’s “official US representatives sent a letter in September … asking that the embassy reconsider its position on him.”

Yovanovitch did not make mention of meeting with Burisma representatives during her testimony.

Fox News has reached out to Yovanovitch’s attorneys with a request for comment.

Meanwhile, Jordan also cited reports which suggested that State Department documents show that the alleged “whistleblower” whose complaint started the impeachment inquiry against President Trump “played a role in facilitating the Obama-Biden Administration’s interactions with the Ukrainian government relating to Burisma and Hunter Biden.”

“In light of this new information, and in order to better understand any previous barriers to our ability to cooperate with international law enforcement efforts related to Burisma, I respectfully request the following material,” Jordan wrote to Pompeo.

Jordan requested “unredacted copies of all documents released” in the FOIA relating to “Burisma Holdings Mykola Zlochevsky, or Hunter Biden,” as well as any documents and emails referring to Burisma between January 2014 and January 20, 2017—Trump’s inauguration.

Jordan also requested documents and communications “referring to or relating to Hunter Biden, Christopher Heinz or Devon Archer for the period January 1, 2014, to January 20, 2017.”

“Please provide this information as soon as possible, but no later than 5:00 p.m. on May 28, 2020,” Jordan wrote, thanking Pompeo for his “attention to this matter.”

The letter was sent to the State Department on Thursday afternoon.

Meanwhile, in Ukraine, the Burisma investigation isn’t entirely closed. In October 2019, Ukraine’s current prosecutor general, Ruslan Ryaboshapka, said at a news conference that his office was instructed to review cases that have been closed to make sure they were fairly and thoroughly handled — including the probe into Burisma. That announcement did not mean that Ukraine was opening a new investigation into Burisma or the Bidens.

During his testimony last year, deputy Kent said that he raised concerns with Biden’s office in 2015 that Hunter Biden’s role on the board of Burisma could present “the possibility of the perception of a conflict of interest.”

Kent also testified during the impeachment hearings that he would “love” to see Ukraine look into the circumstances surrounding the closure of the probe tied to Burisma.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6114391884001_6114392462001-vs Jordan seeks State Department files on Burisma, after release of new emails fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/person/jim-jordan fox news fnc/politics fnc e688e8ab-4e1b-5ef9-801e-566e09859e61 Brooke Singman article  Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6114391884001_6114392462001-vs Jordan seeks State Department files on Burisma, after release of new emails fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/person/jim-jordan fox news fnc/politics fnc e688e8ab-4e1b-5ef9-801e-566e09859e61 Brooke Singman article

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